Storm's Romelo to miss 6-8 weeks
There appears to be a hex on the No.6 guernsey down in Melbourne.
Joel Romelo has become the latest five-eighth prospect join the Storm injury list after being diagnosed with a Grade 2 ankle strain, ruling him out of action for the next 6-8 weeks.
It was not the club debut Romelo will look to remember fondly, despite his side claiming a 13-point victory over the Rabbitohs last Friday night.
The 25-year-old came off the bench but lasted just nine minutes, before going down clutching his ankle in the 35th minute.
The former Bulldogs recruit will now have to endure two months on the sidelines.
"It is really disappointing for Joel, he has been waiting patiently for his opportunity this year," said Storm football director Frank Ponisi.
"We weren't sure at the time how serious it was but scans have confirmed that it is a high ankle strain and he will be missing for about six weeks which is disappointing for Joel and the team."
Romelo's injury is another blow to the Storm's halfbacks stocks that were already paper-thin.
Young hopefuls Ben Hampton (suspension) and Cody Walker (hamstring) are both unavailable for selection until Round 13, while Melbourne is sweating on the fitness of Ben Roberts for next week's trip to North Queensland.
Roberts will return this week through the NSW Cup this weekend after suffering a mild recurrence of a pre-season knee injury.
"He [Roberts] nearly played last week for us in the NSW Cup but we decided to hold him back so he is definitely right for this particular weekend," said Ponisi.
"With our crisis in the No.6 position as you might call it he is a big chance to play against the Cowboys."
The timing of the Storm's No.6 crisis could not have come at a worse time with the club's playmakers already forced to bear the burden of a busy Origin schedule.
The club will enjoy a bye this weekend however will return will a tough run of games ahead.
Followed by next week's trip to face the Cowboys, Melbourne will host the Roosters before returning back up north to play the Titans.
Currently holding a 6-4 record, the Storm is delicately poised in fifth position on a congested NRL ladder that sees the team cling to a top-eight spot by just two points.
This is a side that has historically dug deep when it has needed to. However considering what lies in the month ahead and the injury toll that is mounting, the team may need to go to a part of the well it has not needed to dig to for some time.